Silver Creek Terrain Changes
I had heard a "rumor" about Intrawest turning Silver Creek into one big terrain park. So I decided to get the answer from the horse's mouth. Below is from an e-mail response sent to me (quite promptly by the way) from the Terrain Park Manager at Snowshoe:
What we are doing at Silver Creek is following the pattern of Mountain Creek in NJ, in which we place one to four elements on each slope. This will be on all the blues and Bear Claw. It is quite different than the traditional terrain parks, because things are placed on wide areas and the flats of the slopes that way not to disrupt the main fall line. We tried it the last two weeks of last year and most liked it or at least found that it didn't really interfere with the way they normally skied the runs."
I missed the last few weeks at Silver Creek last season due to an injury. Did anyone out there ski at SC then? If so, what was it like?
Whoop-de-do! Watch the lawsuits start flying.
As far as I understand it, Mountain Creek is practically a total terrain park.
"because things are placed on wide areas and the flats of the slopes that way not to disrupt the main fall line"
... yeah right .. and then there is the 1st time some idiot goes careening out of control and takes out some kid and or lady struggling on her 1st blue. As I said before, there is no 'ski at your own risk' disclaimer that is going to cover park elements on open runs.
"We tried it the last two weeks of last year and most liked it or at least found that it didn't really interfere with the way they normally skied the runs."
... the last 2 weeks of the year are generally hardcore, not your average 1 week-a-season recreational skier. Snowshoe is trying to position itself as a weekend retreat/vacation home for families; this doesn't really fit the profile as I see it, especially at Silver Creek. I think they are shooting themselves in the foot on this one.
You snooze you loose. None of your average skiers want to go to silver creek because (whether they'll admit it or not) they want to be near the trendy village. Why shouldn't Snowshoe try to find a way to get people to go there? I'm pretty sure lawsuits aren't an issue over this or, as we have all seen with the tree skiing issue, they'd be VERY cautious about it. If its well done, this could be great for people who can actually do features as they go down the slope (self not included
)rather than just wait and do one feature at a time like most of the people in the parks.
Actually my friends and I ski (and board) at Silver Creek because it's less crowded, and the runs are great for technical carving. I could care less about the village thing. I wonder though, if this will result in LESS people at Silver Creek rather than more. As a homeowner there, I know a majority of the people who ski and stay at Silver Creek are families, many with small kids or children who either don't ski much or are beginners. The wide opened, less crowded runs are a draw for families. I wonder if this will impact that demographic.
Wow, silvercreek adding more terrain park features to their slopes. I bet the kids will love it...Silvercreek adding features on all their trails-what a great innovative idea-I just wish timberline would build one decent terrain park as soon as the mountain opens. Or better yet wouldn't it be nice if timberline would build the two terrain parks they advertise on their trail maps and on their radio adds. Sounds like I will have to take my kids down to snowshoe to play, during our stay at our house in timberline...what a shame.
Yeah, I'm with you about the village. Its nice when its not busy in the evenings but if it wasn't for the western territory I'd just stay at Silver Creek. Their runs are so much more consistent with pitch and no lines. I think the deciding factor will be whether or not kids line the trail above each feature deciding who's going next. If there is a good flow enforced by the ski patrol it can easily be done without hindering normal carving much. I'm really excited to see it and hope they have some simple boxes that I can handle. The couple times I actually made a consistent line over a box, flat rail, and jump in Ohio last season was a blast. If that is any indication, silver creek will be a blast.
JR, I'm with you man. The vertical at Silver Creek is a bit less than the main mountain at Snowshoe, but most of those runs suffer from that LONG runout at the bottom. I'm not sure what to think of this change. I love to carve big turns, and am worried about how these features will affect the runs. I wouldn't mind trying some simple rails and boxes. But alas, age is catching up and the falls don't feel as painless as they used to. I was hoping we could find someone who had been to Silver Creek the last few weeks last season.
I agree with you and JR, Tick. The logical thing to do would be to leave Silver Creek alone and turn the Basin into the terrain park.
For all practical purposes, the Basin is already a terrain park. More and more I saw impromptu kickers on the sides of runs, even the far greens like Log Slide and Yew Pine. That's why I worry about 'official' elements on the trails. I witnessed several collisions and crashes last year with kids coming off these 'jumps' running across the fall line; one of them taking me down in the process so maybe I am a bit sensitive on the subject . If there were not enough patrollers, ski, courtesy and otherwise, to control illegal skiing last year, I wonder if there will be enough of them to watch over the expanded opportunities for mayhem this year.
HURRAY, this is AWESOME news. Its about flippin time for snowshoe to "get with the times" and step up the terrain parks just like all the other intrawest resorts( Copper, Squaw, Whister, Mammoth and June, and now Mountain Creek), and dont forget about Park City, Big Bear, Heavenly, i could go on and on. Every popular ski resort invests major money into their terrain parks. Why you ask? Because terrain parks are just so much darn fun(the park comes in 2nd to pow). If you want to have a succesfull family oriented weekend getaway type resort, having high quality terrain parks is essential. Terrains park are a huge draw for kids, they all wanna be like Shaun White and Travis Rice or Danny Kass,they wanna get rad like they heroes, they dont want be like their square old dad and do parallel turns on groomers all day(boring). And they are not just fun for freestyle snowboarders and skiers age 14-21, they are fun for the whole family! You just have to choose the right one for your skill level. If you are a complete beginner when it comes to the park but you wanna learn how to ride the terrain features and learn proper park etiquette, Im pretty sure that the snowshoe sports school offer terrain park lessons. I would recommend this to anyone who is new to the park, i think it will greatly reduce your risk of beginner injuries and create a fun and safe environment for everyone.
Now as far as saftey goes when it comes to people riding the terrain features colliding with people riding the trail beside the feature and vise versa, this shouldnt be an issue as long as ski patrol and the park staff make sure that the terrain feature is properly fenced or roped off, and the area is clearly marked with a freestyle terrain marker.
The point im trying to make is that terrain parks are awesome and fun and we should all be happy that snowshoe is making these improvements. And if your a grumpy old skier who has had some out of control kid on a snowboard run into you, remember to hate the player, not the game, aight( just giving snowcone a hard time).
That's one thing terrain parks should help, is getting rid of self-made kickers. It becomes easier to enforce anyway; the ski patrol should feel that they have greater latitude to shut those things down if there are viable terrain park options on other runs.
What aggravates me is that terrain parks are coming- at Silver Creek, at Northstar in California, at almost anyplace I've seen trails converted for that matter- at the expense of high quality intermediate terrain. What would be ideal is for a resort to create new runs that are exclusively terrain parks rather than converting old runs into them. I know a number of mountains don't have that ability, and others are big enough to have both great intermediate terrain and terrain parks (eg- Whistler), but for instance. Silver Creek. It's doable. A new run just to the right of the Eagle quad chair. Add a terrain-park only run in the Western Territory (which, incidentally, should be where Snowshoe is concentrating the balance of its terrain expansion but ISN'T).
And in the case of a place like the Shoe, it's understandable that they'd need to convert a regular run or two into terrain parks. But a whole mountain??? And some of the best quality skiing in the Mid-Atlantic??? This is extremely frustrating. What if Timberline converted Heavenly and Dew Drop into terrain parks? That would be awful.
On the other hand, Timberline could- if they had the cash- open a northwest facing area that was almost exclusively terrain parks and allow non-terrain park skiing on the existing runs. I'm sure there'd be some griping about that, but it would result in no net loss of acreage for any class of skiers/riders involved.
Incidentally, I discovered this March that it's about an hour's difference drive time to get to Canaan Valley from Blacksburg as it is to get to Snowshoe. If this Silver Creek conversion is for real, it's further evidence that there's really no need to ski south of Harman, West Virginia.
I agree, I'd love to see expansion on the western territory but from what I understand, they are in the process of getting environmental approval over salamanders and such. The other problem with western territory is the wind. It takes way more snowmaking to get snow to lay on those windy slopes (especially at the top) and if you think its hard to do a spin move off a jump now, wait till you try it with western territory winds catchin ya. Hit a big kicker at the top of shay and you'd probably land on shaver's lake half the time.
I really think they have great plans for the western side but taking some extra time to make smart trail planning tat will minimize wind problems will be worth it in the long run.
Another thing I wonder is if they still plan on reviving the old Hawthorn lift system. I remember seeing an early plan (pre western express lift) that called for a second lift over there with numerous runs. Why put lifts and a runs there instead of more runs at Cupp? They can play the north side of a ridge line much like Cupp does to minimize wind and sun exposure. Notice that Shay runs ON the ridge that Cupp runs north of and sees much more sun and wind on the upper 2/3.